GAME RECAP 12/30/22



by Brett Wiseman

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - In their first game out of the Christmas break, the Carolina Thunderbirds recovered from a sluggish start and pummeled the Elmira Mammoth 9-2 in front of a sellout crowd of 3,128 at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex.

The Thunderbirds started slow, as Elmira was faster and stronger all over the ice in the early going, netting a goal by Nick Gullo not quite four minutes into the game.

Spurred by the energy of the sellout crowd, Carolina found their legs, and found the back of the net. A lot. Jacob Schnapp set up the games second star, Petr Panacek, in the high slot as he ripped home a beautiful wrist shot to tie the game. Lucas Rowe scored in his return to the lineup, stuffing home his own rebound to give the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead after one.

Carolina didn't stop there. Two more second period goals from Jiri Pestuka and Joe Kennedy, a second period which saw the Thunderbirds outshoot the Mammoth 23-6, set the stage for an even more offensive third.

Gus Ford opened the third period scoring, banking in a goal off an Elmira defender. Jan Salak and Blake Peavey netted tallies just ten seconds apart, and the rout was on.

Former Mammoth player Troy Murray, acquired by Carolina from Elmira weeks earlier, scored in his Thunderbird debut on a wrist shot from the point, to add on. That was followed by captain John Buttitta's breakaway goal to seal the deal.

The Thunderbirds will ride the victory into New Year's Eve when they host the Mammoth again to wrap up the calendar year and the weekend series. Puck drop is set for 8:35pm.


Sea Wolves Blanked by River Dragons 4-0

by Nick Roesch

Biloxi, MS.- The Mississippi Sea Wolves had all 32 of their shots turned away on Friday night, falling 4-0 to the Columbus River Dragons at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. 

Despite good energy from the Sea Wolves in the opening minutes, Adam Vannelli knuckled a shot past Sea Wolves goaltender Joe Sheppard for a 1-0 River Dragons lead at 11:25 of the first period. 

Alex Storjohann added to the Columbus advantage with 32 seconds left in the stanza on a tictac-toe goal with passes from Jacob Kelly and Lane King. 

Trailing 2-0 in the second period, the Sea Wolves gave up a costly turnover to Lane King, who flipped a pass to Kelly for his first goal and second point of the evening after 3:59 of the new frame. Kirk Underwood (11:38) converted on a River Dragons 5-on-3 for a 4-0 score which proved to be the final score at the conclusion of regulation. 

Sheppard stopped 19 of the River Dragons’ 23 shots in his Mississippi debut. Blake Weyrick entered in relief during the second period and played the remainder of the game with nine saves and no goals allowed. The shutout win went to Brendan Colgan between the pipes for Columbus. 

The Sea Wolves and River Dragons will head to Georgia for the second matchup of the threegame series tomorrow. The New Years’ Eve contest will begin at 6:30pm CST at the Columbus Civic Center and the action will be available for viewing on the Sea Wolves YouTube channel. 


Colgan Notches Second Shutout As Columbus

Claims Fifth Straight

by Tom Callahan

BILOXI, MS -  The Columbus River Dragons picked right back up where they left off before the Christmas break, extending the team’s win streak to five games with a 4-0 win over the Sea Wolves in Mississippi Friday night.

Breandan Colgan made 27 saves for the win, becoming the first goaltender in the FPHL with two shutouts on the season. 

Alex Storjohann (1-1-2), Jacob Kelly (1-1-2) and Lane King (0-2-2) all turned in multi-point efforts in the win. Kirk Underwood and Adam Vannelli also scored to help Columbus pick up the victory.

The teams will now travel to Columbus to face off on New Year’s Eve at 7:30 pm and New Year’s Day (Sunday) at 4:30 pm. Tickets are on sale through the Civic Center Box Office and online at



by Will Wiegelman

Port Huron, MI.- The Port Huron Prowlers fell 5-4 to the Motor City Rockers in their last home game of 2022 on Dec. 30. Josh Colten’s empty-net goal went down as the game-winner.

The goals came fast and furious in the opening period. Joe Deveny, Tommy Cardinal and Sam Marit scored within a 43-second span. That resulted in a 2-1 Prowlers lead just over five minutes in.

Liam Freeborn added another to make it 3-1 and that score stood until the period's final seconds. Cardinal scored his second of the frame with six seconds on the clock to pull his team within one.

Tim Perks tied things up with his first of the season in the second period and the teams went into the third at 3-3.

Past the halfway point of the final frame, Jonathan Juliano batted a shot out of the air and in to give Motor City its first lead of the night. Colten hit the empty net to make it 5-3 with a minute to go. Austin Fetterly got one back but it wasn’t enough.

Fetterly and Deveny finished with two points apiece. Wyatt Hoflin made 32 saves.

Juliano led all scorers with four points. Colten and Cardinal had three each while Perks added two. Trevor Babin got the win in a 30-save effort.

These two teams will meet again on New Year’s Eve in a 2:30 P.M. matinee at Big Boy Arena. That game will be available live on the Port Huron Prowlers YouTube channel.


Hat Tricks Defeat the Thunder Again

by Gradon Motter

Harrington, DE - The first period was a stale mate as both teams with 1 goal for each team and 1 penalty for each team. For Danbury, Michael Marchesan scores and Delaware’s Danila Milushkin finds the back of the net to make the game 1-1 going into the 2nd period.

The second period was all Danbury collecting 5 goals with the highlight being Johnny Ruiz grabbing his 100th goal of his career. After 2, Danbury was up 6-1 on Delaware.

The 3rd period was a penalty fest with both teams combining for 13 penalties. Both teams had chances on the offensive side but nothing went past Brian Wilson and Michael McHale who replaced Trevor Martin at the start of the 3rd.

Delaware faces Danbury on New Year’s Eve at the ThunderDome. Puck drop is 7:00pm.


Black Bears Blank Wolves

by Jeff Barrett

Watertown, NY - The Binghamton Black Bears and Wolves met for the fourth time this season, and first time in Watertown in the first of a home and home series to close out 2022.

The Black Bears would strike first at 8:33 of the first period when Gavin Yates intercepted Greg Hussey's clearing attempt, and was able to slide the puck right back past a sprawling Hussey giving Binghamton a 1-0 lead. with the only goal of the first 20 minutes.

Just 2:55 into the second, Nikita Ivashkin found a streaking Jesse Anderson racing to get behind the Watertown defense. Anderson took advantage of the one on one opportunity to add to the Black Bears lead 2-0.

At the 6:50 of the second, Tyson Kirkby took a Tyler Gjurich feed from the right side and was able to pull it across the front of the goal and dump it back to the top right side of the goal to lengthen the lead to 3-0.

Binghamton would add a 4th goal at the 14:08 mark when Justin Coachman heaved a shot from the left point that hit a defenders stick and changed direction before Hussey could recover to make the save. Tyler Gjurich was credited with his second assist of the night. The goal brought an end to the evening for starter Greg Hussey. 

Things really came unhinged at the 14:22 mark when the Black Bears Taylor Cutting would take a slew of penalties including, unsportsmanlike conduct, Instigator, fighting, and a game misconduct for aggressor. The Wolves Larry Yellowknee would would also get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. As Cutting was leaving the ice he pulled a Wolves player over the boards, leading to a big scrum between both team benches, that took several minutes to get under control. After cooler heads prevailed, the period would finally end with Binghamton leading 4-0.

The third period had several chances to score for each team with two Wolves players hitting the pipes on shots, and Watertown keeper Travis Smith having to fend off a couple of point blank shots. Binghamton finally solved Smith at 11:24 of the third when Jesse Anderson found himself on the receiving end of a Austin Thompson crossing path, and redirected the puck to the back of the net. Mac Lewis would also get credited with an assist on the play.

Jesse Anderson was able to slide another shot home at 19:44 to give him a hat trick for the night assisted this time by Austin Thompson.
Riley McVeigh recorded the shutout in net for the Black Bears, stopping all 38 shots he faced.

Watertown outshot Binghamton 38-24 for the game. Both teams were scoreless on multiple power plays. The Black Bears went 0 for 7 on extra man attempts while the Wolves were 0 for 10.  

The two teams will meet again on New Years Eve in Binghamton with the puck drop slated for 5:00 pm.